A review of this — 4 years ago
mine quickie humble musings (not a review, per se) on this read, yea:
Having just finished the read, i catch myself deciding, again, that i (still) prefer dear lady Lahiri’s short stories to her novel.
Her prose is still as beautiful, and Jhumpa Lahiri shall always be the one who redeemed my loyal faith (and interest too, perhaps) in Asian American writers, esp. after a not-too-pleasant experience of reading Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things”. – An important note here though: I did enjoy Roy’s essays, replete with her sharp wit and candour, thoroughly. Definitely recommended to all friends. :)
So, although i felt that “The Namesake” is an okay read, to me, Lahiri still reigns as one of my fave authors who writes against a backdrop of the Indian diaspora, on vital (and beautifully real) themes as the immigrant identity, and its sensitivities.
An excerpt from the closing pages of Lahiri’s The Namesake (First Mariner Books: 2003, p.289):
“The givers and keepers of Gogol’s name are far from him now. One dead. Another, a widow, on the verge of a different sort of departure, in order to dwell, as his father does, in a separate world. She will call him, once a week, on the phone. She will learn to send e-mail, she says…
Without people in the world to call him Gogol, no matter how long he himself lives, Gogol Ganguli will, once and for all, vanish from the lips of loved ones, and so, cease to exist…”
Take care all & Wishes, minerva
p.s. Btw, for those who are interested in Russian lit., do check out the sadly beautiful short story, “The Overcoat,” by Nikolai Gogol – the namesake from whom Lahiri’s protagonist, (Nikhil) Gogol’s name is borrowed. :)